1. AuroraJenkins
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    AuroraJenkins Member

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    What makes someone in high school more likely to be bullied?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AuroraJenkins, Apr 24, 2013.

    I'm starting to write a story where a character (teenage female high school student) is actually trying to get other students to bully her on purpose. I discussed the reasons for this in another post, but it's not really important to the question.

    Basically, I'm wondering if you guys have any ideas about what she could consciously do to make others at a new school dislike her? So far I've come up with:


    -Looking physically unappealing. She already isn't the most attractive girl, and she could compound that by not brushing her hair or changing clothes often enough or just not caring about her appearance.

    -Acting spacy and clueless, like walking into the wrong classroom or bumping into people in the halls.

    -Always being alone, like sitting in the corner of classrooms and sitting alone at a table at lunch.

    -Saying weird and unexpected things when other people try to talk to her.


    I just feel like I need to have something more dramatic or decisive in that list. Personally, in my own high school, acting like that is enough to get you ignored and turn you into an total outcast, but people won't actively hurt or insult or steal things from someone just for being a loner. Maybe people at my school are just nicer than in other places?

    EDIT: Thanks for all your input, guys! I'm sorry to say that I'm not actually using this idea for my story, but the story itself is still happening. The character still goes to high school, but she has other reasons for being there.

    EDIT: Do you all know of any way to delete a thread? I think this one is outliving its usefulness :p
     
  2. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    I was thinking about doing a story about a few of my characters in high school. One of them is a girl, so I have a few ideas.

    For sitting alone, I don't think that sitting in the corner would be as good, since that's out of the way and people might not notice as much. She'd have to be a loner but in the public view. Instead of having her sit in a stairwell at lunch, have her sit at an empty table in the middle of the cafeteria, or at the end of a table away from the people sitting at it. It might be better to have her sit at a crowded table, but never say anything to anyone. Maybe give her a few fairly popular or at least well connected friends so she can go to parties and be weird there. Odd people stand out a lot at parties.

    In terms of getting bullied, I think the reaction of people at your school is pretty typical. I think in most cases, kids aren't going to be total jerks.
     
  3. Nicki_G
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    Nicki_G Member

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    Well, when I was in high school, I was bullied for wearing stirup pants all the time and over sized sweaters and never wearing brand names. As soon as I bought a pair of jeans and nikes, those people wanted to be my friends...
     
  4. karajmnz
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    karajmnz Member

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    Maybe she needs to do something to offend everyone. Maybe (and I hesitate to suggest this because it is NOT right to pick on someone for being gay but..) she could try to pick up another girl or she could be a super slut and try to steal someone's boyfriend. Those seem to be things that really anger people.
     
  5. karajmnz
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    karajmnz Member

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    I just read your other thread in plot development and I saw your character is a demon. If thats the case I saw definatley go with upseting people. Try to steal boyfriends, make it obvious she is trying to steal homework, basically be a bitch to people in a way that angers them but doesn't make them afraid of her. If their afraid I'm guessing they won't bully.
     
  6. AuroraJenkins
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    AuroraJenkins Member

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    Thanks for your input so far, guys. I think, if I go with the bullying idea at all, then I will make her less of the quiet type and more offensive to others.

    Anyway, other suggestions are still welcome if anyone finds this thread later tonight :)
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That would make me think that your story is trying to communicate that the bullied deserve to be bullied. There are so very, very many kids that are bullied for completely passive behaviors and characteristics that having her do something offensive seems to negate the point. You could easily end up with a message of "those bullied kids are horrible, and look what happens to the poooor, poooor helpless little bullies!"

    Edited to add: I think that it's difficult to come up with a sure-fire way to get someone bullied because a school needs only so many scapegoats, and scapegoats are rarely allowed to escape that role without a major shuffle in the school. If there are enough of them to provide the bullies with entertainment, then anyone new who comes along is likely to be ignored, no matter how much bullying temptation they seem to embody. One way to increase the odds could be to come along at such a shuffle time, such as the shift from junior high to high school, especially in a district where several junior high schools feed into one high school, so that there are more scapegoats than are needed, and they need to be reselected.

    Edited again to add: You could have a look at "voices from the Hellmouth", a long piece on Slashdot several years ago about how the Littleton shootings led to "different" kids being tormented not only just by kids, but by schools and teachers as well. Being miserable and taunted was treated as evidence that you were likely to become dangerous. ("Geek Profiling")
     
  8. AuroraJenkins
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    AuroraJenkins Member

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    Exactly what I was afraid of people thinking... *sigh* Anyway I'm beginning to think I might not incorporate that element into it at all. The story can still work without it if I change a few aspects of the narrator's character and "job description."
     
  9. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I was bullied pretty mercilessly throughout most of my school years. Being different is a surefire way to get bullied. Being passive, reactive, and/or a loner just encourages bullies. Unless you're one of the scary loners. haha
     
  10. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    The last part defiantly works. I think one of my characters could use it particularly well.
     
  11. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I believe what encourages bullies more than anything is when someone is better than them at something. Or when one believes he is better than everyone else, that attracts them too.
     
  12. ArcticPhoenix
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    ArcticPhoenix Member

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    Now I'm just curious which kind of loner that is exactly. xD

    Hmm... Terra has about mentioned everything I've witnessed about why people bully others. So, I'd just like to mention examples to expand on those aspects. Hope it helps.

    Being passive - even if people do try to approach you at first, you always ignore or reject their invitations. Eventually, although this may not be the case, people think of you as being haughty and thinking yourself above them. Naturally, they do not like that.

    Being reactive - I know someone who answers to bullies by shooting their mouth off and flipping those bullies off. Bullies like feeling superior. Being dissed in public? Unacceptable. This person needs to be taught a lesson.

    Being a loner - this person has no friends; no one to defend them. Easy prey. Yum.

    Maybe the only other thing I can think of is people who have the doormat mentality, but that can be grouped as passive, I suppose? Related to said doormat mentality, an idea that may be useful to come up with your own reasons though, is that you, yourself, teach people how to treat you.

    But to be fair, there are people who are outcasted or bullied because they are legit assholes. I have actually tried being nice to this kind of people, only for them to try to embarrass me for being nice to them in the first place, ignoring me, or well, just being an ass in response. This is not to say that bullying can be justified in any way, but... if you act repulsively, then don't expect people to love you.
     
  13. cazincrete
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    cazincrete New Member

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    Just a thought from personal experience i was bullied at school why because i was immature for my age loud and demanding I wasn't badly dressed or scruffy hair. what i did have was a lack of confidence and it tried to hide it by being loud. I was over excited at school as it was my only social interaction. probably because we lived on farm and none of my friends lived closes my parents where never home and distracted by their marrital and financial problems my older sister was 4years older so she had a life. I go through life trying to please others but for the wrong reasons I crave the attention and praise and expect to recieve it. sort of like puppy syndrome if you like. I had a lot of rejection issues and was alone as a child even though in character i am outgoing and chatty. I did not know when to walk away actually in a subconcience way asked for more. My outgoing and chatty personality mixed with being sensitiveand egar to please left me wide open for bullies. hope it helps x good luck.
     
  14. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I was a demon and wanted to turn into a bullied highschooler, it could go either way, maybe what I did would victimize me, maybe it wouldn't work no matter how hard I tried. People and communities can be unpredictable.

    Back in high school, I was a geek and a bit weird, no brand clothes, no cool hobbies, no boyfriend, no tits and of course, eyeglasses! but I was never bullied. My best friend was bullied ruthlessly, and we were quite alike, so why her? Why not me? Sure, there are "obvious" things that can cause bullying (being somehow different, poor, small, of the "wrong color", learning problems or being "too smart", not participating in bullying others or the teacher, etc.), but at least to me it's very difficult to pinpoint what makes a kid an easy prey for bullies.
     
  15. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    The victim's reaction is a part of it too - if it is interesting for bullies, they will repeat it. There was a guy in our class who got teased a lot. Sure, he was weird, but a lot of us were. But this guy, although he was usually quiet and kept to himself, he went crazy whenever they did something to him - took something from him and such. Then he argued, he tried to fight the thing back, although it was hopeless. He made a show of himself and they enjoyed it. If he stayed cool they'd leave him alone, but he couldn't.
     
  16. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aren't bullies normally jealous of a quality in their victim, like being super brainy, being a prize student, coming from a rich family.

    Victims aren't always fat, spotty, poor kids from the wrong side of town in 2 dollar trainers
     
  17. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    ^ This. I was bullied and bullied others myself. Not proud of it, but I went to an all boys high school and shit was brutal.

    However, a lot of girls I knew who were bullied (mostly by other girls) were due to them hanging around boys a lot and rumours of them being "sluts". Even though in most cases, they were virgins who were either flirty by nature or just comfortable around boys.
     
  18. karajmnz
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    karajmnz Member

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    This^
    In my high school expirence any bullying between girls was because of fights over boys.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Acting like a victim. Trying to avoid most people, showing signs of fear, looking down at the floor instead of making eye contact, all the signs that say you won't fight back.

    Bullies are insecure cowards. They try to feel better about themselves b=y preying upon those who are easily dominated. You stand up to a coward, he or she will look for an easier target. However if you make a bully look bad in front of those who worship or fear him or her, the coward will feel compelled to "get even" in order to save face.
     
  20. Terralala
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    Terralala Member

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    In public school I was bullied a lot both physically and emotionally and while I wasn't a good looking kid who had brand name clothes I also wasn't a nerd and I was far from being the dirty kid who never showered but the reason I got bullied over them? The bullies got a reaction out of me. I got angry and usually my anger manifested as tears which they thought was hilarious finally after years of it I punched one of them in the face and the other bullies just LOVED that! Any time I have encountered bullying the bully usually just wants a reaction, it's entertainment for them.
     
  21. RainbowWarrior
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    RainbowWarrior Member

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    in my experience, i believe she needs to be someone who subconsciously refuses to change to stop people from bullying her. the process starts with a person doing something 'weird', which makes them unpopular, and then they have no one to back them up, therefore making them an easy target for the bullies.

    also, she would need to have a limit to how much bullying she can stand. bullies thrive off the pain of others. when she's getting bullied, you MUST make her react, with bad consequences (e.g. her failing to hit the bullies and then she gets laughed at)
     
  22. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    As someone who graduated from high school less than a year ago, I must say that it all really depends on a lot of factors, most notably the environment and culture. For example, In the small town of redlands, where I went to school, bullying didn't exist in certain places. At one high school, (REV), you could have been bullied for being a video game nerd or anime freak who dressed in cosplay outfits at school, but that was only if anyone really cared to pay you that much attention. The jocks were busy running the school, the smart students were praised with them, and everyone really did their own thing. It had that High School musical feel at times (Funny because the school was Redlands East Valley and their mascots were Wildcats). At another school Redlands High, You were more likely to be bullied for dressing vibrantly or acting stuck up (like you were too good to be friends with anyone). RHS was much more of a ghetto school in some ways, but you could easily find somewhere to fit in without being bullied. At Citrus Valley, where I went after REV, bullies didn't exist. Girls got drama and they fought. Boys got heated and they fought. But we all stood together against bullying. All these schools were predominantly white and asian with decent incomes who lived in decent neighborhoods.

    Step to the next city (where I actually lived) and things were different. It was more ghetto, and low income was the norm for the mostly black and hispanic families. The schools aren't great, but here, the culture of the populations did not promote education. For many, college wasn't affordable, so school was annoying and education became very undervalued. Here, in this environment, you could get bullied for being TOO SMART. It made the others look bad for you to study and be a success. You could get bullied for being too rich, or too white. If you were black and didn't hang with black people you didn't hang with anyone. It was the Same if you were hispanic. You could be bullied for being too weak in an environment where gang-like activity was normal and poorly prevented.

    In today's high schools, being a loner simply doesn't cut it, especially with all the movements against bullying. You have to have an environment that breeds bullying. I read and commented on your other thread, and if you want to go this route, the best advice I can give is this:

    Determine the city culture and demographics, Consider who goes to your high school and where they are from. If you want bullies, you have to pull the from an environment that creates the hardened bully mentality. But there are also different types of bullies from different environments. Finally, Never forget the growing power of the cyber bully. Cyberbullying is the bullying we face today; research it, become familiar with it, see if it could work.

    Bullying as it's been seen in movies and high schools before, doesn't exist in many places. Bullies don't simply grow from lack popularity or a sense of self consciousness. A lot of bullies now need that sense of power, of control over someone else's life either because they have none over their own lives or because being hard is the only way to to keep from being picked on yourself. There are a lot of reasons for bullying, but it all starts in the environment.
     
  23. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Also remember, that bullies feed off of the struggles of their victims. If it's too easy, they lose interest and find someone else.
     
  24. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    The kind that will beat the snot out of someone for looking at them funny. :p
     
  25. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    I don't know about the rest of you, but the "bullies" in my school weren't selective. They didn't care if you were seemingly popular or not. They were assholes that just wanted to take their personal insecurities and frustrations out on other people.

    The difference between some teenagers is not whether or not they're bullied. It's how secure they are in themselves and how they handle it. There was this "super cool" guy in my class. He got made fun of for a lot of things, just like I did. The difference was, he had a gorgeous girlfriend, a lot of friends, and he was so secure with himself regardless of what the assholes said that he could just laugh at them and send some biting comment back. And people would laugh with him because those guys were idiots to think they could pull something on Mr. Popular.

    Me, on the other hand? I was no where near as secure as he was. I struggled more with my personal image and I wanted to be accepted by everybody because I wasn't accepted by anybody. And the worst part about being bullied is not when the regular asshole makes fun of you or does something mean to you, like call you fatass or tell you you'll never get married or have kids 'cause no one's interested. The worst part is when you feel the smallest bit of security - when you think you're going up a bit and you're not so much of a loser - and suddenly someone rips you down again. When you think you've got friends in high places, but when some tries to pull you down again, they just watch and laugh.

    Sorry if I sound preachy or whiney, I'm just trying to make a point: it doesn't matter what someone gets made fun of for. I got made fun of for my weight, and my love of words and my general inability to fit in with anybody else at my high school. My best friend (who unfortunately went to a different high school) got made fun of because she was hyper and had big tits. My ex-boyfriend (the only boyfriend I ever had) got made fun of 'cause he didn't watch porn and his dad was a gynecologist. I mean, do you realize how stupid that is? But it didn't matter if this was something that someone is expected to get made fun of for. You don't have to be a super nerd or ugly like me. You don't even have to be unpopular.

    What draws the line between the "cool" people and the "nerds" is not whether or not they get bullied. It's how they handle the shit that gets thrown their way.
     

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